African Americans on Postage Stamps

Vintage Black Cinema

42-cent The Sport of the Gods stamp
The stamp featuring "The Sport of the Gods" was issued on July 16, 2008.

Five vintage African-American cinematic productions were honored on United States postage stamps through depictions of the films’ original advertisement posters.

The stamp shown here depicts the poster for the earliest of the five films honored in the Vintage Black Cinema Issue. “The Sport Of The Gods” is a silent film about the struggles of a man wrongfully convicted of a crime, and his family’s struggles moving from the south to a new home in New York City. The film was based on a 1902 book by poet and author Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Shown below, the 1929 movie “Black and Tan” which ran for 19-minutes, featured Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra in their film debut.

Also released in 1929, “Hallelujah” was one of the earliest major-studio productions to feature an all-black cast.

42-cent Black and Tan stamp
The stamp featuring "Black and Tan" was issued on July 16, 2008.
42-cent Hallelujah stamp
The stamp featuring "Hallelujah" was issued on July 16, 2008.

Shown below, the 1935 French language film “Princesse Tam-Tam” was one of only four films to star American-born actress and entertainer Josephine Baker.

The 1945 short film “Caldonia” showcases the musical talents of the famous band leader, singer and saxophonist Louis Jordan.

42-cent Prinsesse Tam-Tam stamp
The stamp featuring "Prinsesse Tam-Tam" was issued on July 16, 2008.
42-cent Caldonia stamp
The stamp featuring "Caldonia" was issued on July 16, 2008.

The Black Experience